If you follow MSL athletics closely, or dream of joining the MSL someday yourself, you might be interested in channeling their lifestyle for yourself. Being a professional athlete isn’t just about practicing and performing well on the field. A lot of what goes into being in the Major Soccer League is also about what you do when you’re off the field, too.
Rest Like a Pro
When you picture what it’s like to be an athlete, what comes to mind first probably isn’t the perfect bedroom mood lighting. You’re probably imagining tons of hours training on the field and in the gym, pounding protein shakes and climbing into an ice bath for relief. While being an athlete is absolutely all about hard work and effort, it’s also about knowing how to rest well in your downtime. Experienced athletes all know what it’s like to burn out when you’re too young to know better, pushing yourself too hard and getting an injury or just becoming too exhausted to perform well.
To channel a true athletic mindset, you should be investing in making sure that you’re well-rested for training. Getting good sleep, eating plenty, and making time to be a couch potato are all important parts of your routine. It’s also a good idea to take some of your rest time for recovery activities like mobility training, stretching, and light cardio like walking or biking.
One of the scariest and most intimidating aspects of athletics is the necessity of pushing yourself hard, both on the field and off it. Anyone who has ever been on an athletic team knows how tough it can be to continue pushing, physically and mentally, once you’re already past the point where you want to quit. But having the ability to keep going when you’re tired is going to help you in all areas of life, not just in channeling the lifestyle of an MSL player.
Food as Fuel
You’ve probably seen how athletes eat and were impressed by the sheer volume they consume, in addition to how high-calorie their meals are. Younger athletes, like college-level football players, will eat a lot of junk and fast food to bulk up quickly. However, older athletes are aware that eating like this all the time is unsustainable in the long run. For MSL players, lean muscle is key for the explosive power and speed they want to achieve. This means eating properly to keep body fat at a minimum, while properly fueling for games and keeping muscle volume steady.
While an all fast-food diet is unrealistic, athletes do have to consume a high level of carbohydrates while in the midst of their season, since carbs are where their bodies get the energy to play. High-protein diets are also popular for athletes since it helps to prioritize muscle growth over fat development. Most athletes will also eat differently in-season versus out since they’ll most likely be getting more exercise and burning more calories during their seasons than they do the rest of the year.
Focus On the Goal
What makes an athlete stand out in a crowd of equally fit individuals? Sometimes an athlete gets by on sheer talent alone, but a lot of the time, it’s their clear goal-setting and their commitment to that goal that keeps them going. Successful athletes are people who are able to block out the noise and focus on developing their skills and going after goals in one specific area. Being passionate and committed aren’t easy qualities to develop, but if you can channel that mindset in whatever stage of life you’re currently in, you’ll be surprised by how far that mindset can take you.